Psychological Diagnosis Related Children. Topic: Generalized Anxiety Research Paper

Length: 12 pages Sources: 8 Subject: Psychology Type: Research Paper Paper: #71398487 Related Topics: Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Preparing
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¶ … psychological diagnosis related children. TOPIC: GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER. Topics selected Diagnostic Statistical Manual Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR). The research paper discuss: a.

Anxiety disorders are presently responsible for interfering in people's lives and preventing them from being able to successfully integrate society. When considering the Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), matters are particularly intriguing as a result of the fact that many people have trouble identifying it and actually go through their lives thinking that their thinking is perfectly normal. In spite of the fact that there are no motives to provoke the exaggerated worry seen in people with GAD, they are unable to realize that they are overstressed. Millions of people from around the world are currently suffering from GAD, with the malady affecting virtually everything about their lives.

While some individuals actually acknowledge the fact that their worries are unfounded, it is very difficult for them to put across rational thinking because the disorder constantly affects the way that they think. Despite that one might have trouble understanding that his or her condition is actually the result of a malady, the respective individual is likely to ignore symptoms that seem obvious to others. "Physical symptoms that often accompany the anxiety include fatigue, headaches, muscle tension, muscle aches, difficulty swallowing, trembling, twitching, irritability, sweating, nausea, lightheadedness, having to go to the bathroom frequently, feeling out of breath, and hot flashes" (National Institute of Mental Health). It is interesting to see how the disorder affects individuals both from a psychological and from a somatic point-of-view. The degree to which this anxiety disorder can affect a person's everyday life depends on its level, as someone can perform complex tasks with little trouble if the disorder is mild while the same person cannot even do the simplest of activities if the condition is severe.

A. Physicians initially had trouble identifying the disorder as being unique and only issued this diagnosis when they were unable to associate people's conditions with other anxiety disorders. In spite of their initial position on the matter, they gradually came to recognize that the disorder was more complex and that it was perfectly normal for them to categorize it as an independent disorder. It is very probable that the terms "generalized disorder" are responsible for the fact that people have difficulty understanding that the disease functions autonomously (Stein & Hollander, 2002, p. 22).

In spite of the fact that technology has progressed greatly during the last few years and made it less difficult for doctors to diagnose GAD, it is still very troublesome for them to understand the factors behind it. Heredity is believed to be one of the main elements triggering GAD in individuals, as it was reported that people with the disorder have had similar cases in their families. GAD is thus very probable to be caused by genetics in combination to a series of other factors. It is very probable that identical twins will develop the same anxiety disorder, this further contributing to the belief that GAD can be caused by genetics. The brain is particularly influential when considering the appearance of GAD, as the disorder has been associated with abnormal levels of certain chemicals in the brain. Brain chemicals are likely to be a principal cause for GAD because the symptoms in patients suffering from the disorder have been reported to ameliorate when these people are being presented with medication that alters the level of particular substances in the brain. One's personality and the environment that the respective person frequents are also decisive in causing GAD. If an individual lacks confidence in himself or herself or if he or she has difficulties performing certain relatively normal tasks, the respective person might be predisposed to developing GAD. Living an underprivileged life can also be significant in triggering GAD, with "long-term exposure to abuse,


Traumatizing experiences can also cause interfere with people's ability to develop immunity to the disorder. Living a stressful life or going through a difficult episode can predispose one to Gad (University of Maryland Medical Center).

B. GAD is one of the most common anxiety disorders, as it occurs in 22% of all primary care patients who report anxiety difficulties. Approximately a quarter of all individuals who attend medical facilities dedicated at treating anxiety disorders are thus very probable to suffer from GAD. According to the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, about 3% of people are predisposed to developing GAD during a given year while approximately 5% of all people will be diagnosed with GAD at a certain moment in their lives. Gender seems to be an important factor when considering GAD, as women are more likely to suffer from GAD in comparison to men. Even though it is difficult to determine the exact ratio regarding the number of women with GAD compared with the number of men suffering with GAD, it is only safe to assume the much more women have been diagnosed with the disorder.

GAD normally advances gradually, with patients experiencing mild somatic or psychological episodes at first and slowly starting to find that their activities become more and more difficult as time passes. Whereas people initially fight their worries and manage to get through the day with little to no problems, they eventually come to feel that they cannot control their anxiety.

When compared with the standard percentage of individuals likely to contract GAD, older people are apparently less immune to the disorder. Furthermore, elderly individuals suffer severe forms of GAD, as the disorder prevents them from completing even the simplest of activities. Whereas old people were found to be more predisposed to GAD, it appears that doctors have difficulties recognizing whether or not a young individual suffers from the disorder. Children are unlikely to experience GAD symptoms, as the disorder does not advance significantly in the first years of one's life. Many people are unaware of their condition because GAD can put across its symptoms at various moments in one's life, without developing completely. It is not until the disorders fully develops that most people become aware of their condition and decide to search for professional help to assist them with overcoming its symptoms (Wittchen, 2002).

C. Many patients suffering from GAD were initially unable to realize that their troubles were caused by a mental disorder. Those who actually realized that something was wrong with them were unable to identify the disorder that was affecting their thinking. "Sometimes patients fear they may be developing Alzheimer's disease, because they do not remember incidents that have occurred around them; the reason for this, however, is that they were not able to pay adequate attention" (Root, 2000, p. 9). Headaches and backaches are normally associated with this disorder and are among the first symptoms that can assist doctors in discovering the specific disorder affecting their patients. GAD is often mistaken for panic disorder, as patients claim that they experience fearful sensations. In reality, they are experiencing significant increases in generalized anxiety making them unable to cope with what goes on around them. People suffering from GAD who have been diagnosed with panic disorder are likely to experience little to no benefits as a result of being subjected to a treatment normally meant to ameliorate panic disorder symptoms (Root, 2000, p. 9).

People with GAD are often diagnosed with panic disorder because of the apparent similarities between the two maladies. Instead of improving conditions regarding GAD diagnose, the DSM III brought further confusion to the problem by identifying GAD as "a disorder without panic attacks or symptoms of major depression" (Gliatto). In contrast, the DSM IV shed light on the topic, emphasizing the fact that people with GAD tend to experience episodes involving severe worrying and that psychological experiences are more important than somatic elements in providing doctors with essential proof that a person had GAD. In order for a contemporary doctor to be able to diagnose GAD when he or she analyzes a particular patient, the respective patient needs to have experienced symptoms for more than six months. Also, he or she has to have had his or her life seriously affected as a result of these symptoms. The DSM III referred to GAD as overanxious disorder (OAD), describing it generally as anxiety disorders present in children and adolescents (Kendall, Pimentel, Rynn, Angelosante & Webb, 2004, p. 336).

One of the most essential reasons for which GAD tends to be mistaken for other disorders is the fact that this particular disorder is typically recognized to accompany other maladies, thus making it more difficult for doctors to be able to identify it. "Comorbidity between GAD and major depression is particularly strong, e.g. In the NCS, subjects with current GAD frequently also had current major depression (39%) or dysthymia (22%)" (Stein & Hollander, 2002, p. 23). GAD patients are often reported to suffer from prolonged mental disorders belonged being diagnosed with GAD. When patients…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works cited:

Gliatto, M.F. "Generalized Anxiety Disorder." American Family Physician. October 1, 2000.

Kendall, Philip C. Pimentel, Sandra Moira Rynn, A. Angelosante, Aleta and Webb, Alicia "12 Generalized Anxiety Disorder," Phobic and Anxiety Disorders in Children and Adolescents: A Clinician's Guide to Effective Psychosocial and Pharmacological Interventions, ed. Thomas H. Ollendick andJohn S. March (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004)

Murray, Megan "Treading Water: Self-reflections on Generalized Anxiety Disorder," Human Architecture 2.1 (2003)

Nutt, David; Bell, Caroline; Masterson, Christine and Short, Clare Mood and Anxiety Disorders in Children and Adolescents: A Psychopharmacological Approach (London: Martin Dunitz, 2001)

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